How OPIN helped Stamford Animal Care & Control
Formed in response to the public's desire to make qualifying tax-deductible contributions to help shelter animals, OPIN was co-founded by shelter volunteers and is an all-volunteer, registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It was primarily dedicated to meet the special needs of the animals of Stamford Animal Care and Control. Funding was used for care not provided by the City of Stamford: preventive health care and extraordinary medical needs; supplies and public education; and training and evaluation of the shelter dogs in order to make them more adoptable canine citizens.
OPIN also acted as an advocate to bring about awareness of the need for a new, state-of-the-art and more inviting Animal Shelter and Humane Education Center; its focus and its efforts on fund-raising and gaining community support.
On March 1, 2007, OPIN held its organization meeting with then Shelter Manager Laurie Hollywood, and a working partnership was formed. OPIN recognized Laurie’s success, commitment to public safety and compassion toward the well-being of the shelter’s homeless animals, and supported the no-kill philosophy for which the shelter was widely recognized.
OPIN spent approximately $5,000 per month to help the Shelter with special medical care, supplies (leashes, collars, microchips), dog training at the Shelter, post-adoption dog training at home, advertising, evaluations, subsidies for pit bull spaying/neutering (SNIP) -- all the wonderful care and programs former Shelter Manager Laurie Hollywood wanted to provide for the animals.
It is still shocking how little the City of Stamford budgets for animal care. The Kennel Maintainer position had been completely cut out of the budget for several years. Recent budgets had given Laurie an average of approximately $364 per week to care for the dogs per year. That expense was to cover dog food, rabies vaccinations and some minor medical care, but not any special care such as dentals, special surgeries, chemotherapy or the like for the 30 or so dogs the Shelter holds at any given time.
Cat care (food and litter) is never allowed into the city budget, nor are rabbit, bird, hamster, duck and/or any other non-dog items. For that reason, the Shelter was most grateful to the kind donors who seem to come through with animal care products and supplies such as bleach, paper towels, dish detergent, etc. Receipt of any of the items found on our wish list helped prevent Laurie from going over the city budget, and allowed OPIN to continue to provide other services, such as special medical care, that the Shelter, and most other municipal shelters, just can't afford. When we were able to provide this care, it meant keeping animals alive, healthy, and ready to start their new lives.
The year 2015 brings a whole new chapter for the Shelter now called "Stamford Animal Control Center", and for OPIN as we part our ways. OPIN continues to support and help the homeless pets of Stamford CT and beyond. With the help of our volunteers and generous donors we hope to make this year truly matter for the pets in need. Thank you.